October 16, 2012

Last year’s Manufacturing Institute’s “Manufacturing Skills and Training Study” provides us with some interesting information:

U.S. Manufacturers are Ready to Grow

  • 50% of companies surveyed plan to increase U.S.-based                 production  jobs by at least 5% in the next five years.
  • Nearly 25% of companies plan to grow more than 10% in the next five years.

U.S. Manufacturers Continue to Experience a Skills Shortage

  • 80% of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage      of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled production  positions.

Skills Shortages are Causing Significant Impacts to Company Earnings

  • More than 70% of manufacturers report at least a 5%                      increase in overtime costs and nearly one-third report a                 greater than 10% increase in overtime costs.
  • Nearly two-thirds of manufacturers report at least a 5%                  increase in production downtime and production cycle time.
  • The total cost to manufacturers of skills shortages are up to          11% of net earnings.

By implication, we can draw the obvious conclusion that manufacturing has a real need for more and better trained workers.  And, that’s where industrial skills training comes into play.

We cavalierly toss around the term, “skills training,” without giving it much thought.  I’m sure there are countless other definitions but, I’m going to offer my thoughts — specifically, as they relate to the “industrial skills training” that results in greater retention and better on-the-job performance.

Industrial skills training demands “doing” — whether it be: ) hands-on, or

a) hands-on, or

b) vicarious (videotape or film), or

c) simulation (Gaming, or media-based learning)

Industrial skills training is the antithesis of the memorization techniques incorporated in education and information conveyance.

We memorize to learn new information.  But, we practice by “doing” — if we want to acquire, or enhance, a skill.

When we talk about the industrial skills training that will effectively impart the necessary skills to our workforce, we are talking about hands-on practice and media-based learning.  The learning culture of most of our current workforce!

And, that means:  hands-on, vicarious, and/or simulations!  Performing the task in a mocked up lab or watching and interacting with a full-motion media presentation are the proven ways to impart the necessary skills that industry requires.

That is the industrial skills training that will effectively fill the needs of our manufacturing and process industries!

More on Monday –  –  –

   — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)